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Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Jan 27, 2014.

(Family Features) Chilly outside? Nothing warms like a steaming bowl of soup. If thoughts of a cozy and comforting pot of soup make you hungry, here is a recipe that's short on time, but long on flavor and satisfaction.

Forget about a tedious ingredient list and lots of simmering time. Italian-Style Greens & Beans Soup is a shortcut that you will turn to again and again. This hearty, rustic bean soup with homemade from-scratch flavor can be on the table in about 20 minutes. The secret is a can of READ Greens and Beans with Sausage, a seasoned combination of white kidney beans, collard greens, tomatoes and sausage. It makes a delicious, easy side dish but is also a great kick-start to a mouth-watering pot of soup. Just add broth and a few simple ingredients, give it a quick simmer, and stir in a healthy handful of kale or spinach. Then, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese just before serving and soup's on.

This soup can be a quick supper for the family or the main dish for casual entertaining. If you're feeding a crowd, that's no problem, as the recipe can easily be doubled. Accompaniments can be as simple as a crusty whole grain baguette and fresh fruit. Open a bottle of Sangiovese or Chianti to add a special touch for entertaining.

For additional information about READ Greens and Beans visit www.facebook.com/READsalads.

Italian-Style Green & Beans Soup

Recipe: Italian-Style Green & Beans Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) READ Greens & Beans with Sausage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced kale or spinach (packed)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Cook onion, sausage, garlic and Italian seasoning in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until sausage is completely cooked, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add broth, Greens & Beans and red pepper; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in kale. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Servings: 3 to 4

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Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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